Budleigh’s message of hope for football

Braunton v Budleigh Salterton in the Devon Football League North and East Division. Picture: Matt Sm

Braunton v Budleigh Salterton in the Devon Football League North and East Division. Picture: Matt Smart - Credit: Matt Smart

As we enter the latest lockdown and the immediate future for local football looks more uncertain than ever, Budleigh Salterton chairman Matt Hughes summed things up perfectly in his New Year message to the club. 
“2020 has not been the year that any of us ever expected,” he said. “To say it has been a difficult and trying time would be putting it mildly.  
“Football has taken a back seat at times and our battles have not just been on the field.  
“We have pulled together in the difficult times but we have also lost friends along the way. I am very lucky to be a part of such a wonderful club in Budleigh Salterton AFC and we should all be proud of what we have achieved, on and off the pitch this year.  
“To all the staff, the volunteers, our committee and the other Officers of the Club; thank you for all your hard work during this very difficult time.  
“To all the parents and supporters, thank you for continued support of the club, it means a lot.  
“To all the managers and players, thank you for your efforts over the last year and I look forward to seeing you all play again in 2021.” 
The absurdity of the current situation is nobody’s fault but can perhaps be best summed up by the fact Budleigh Salterton’s first-team have not played in the Devon Football League since a 3-3 thriller with Liverton at the end of October. 
While the future of the DFL season remains understandably uncertain, it is worth looking back on the first couple of months of the campaign for Budleigh. 
A brief glance at their position in the bottom half of the North & East Division fails to tell the full story, as many of the results that have gone against the Robins have been by a narrow margin. 
The season started with a thumping win over Chudleigh and, aside from heavy losses to Alphington and the University of Exeter, Budleigh have been more than competitive this term. 
Manager Dan Carthew has stated that he used the enforced break to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of his side in formulating a future plan. Let’s hope he gets to put that plan into action. 

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